New Orleans Saints Draft Choices: Darren Howard (2000)
The first round of the 2016 NFL Draft will be held on Thursday, April 28, in Chicago, Illinois.
Between now and then, we’ll be looking back at all of the drafts of the New Orleans Saints, from 1967-2015.
Yesterday, we looked back at 1999.
The 2000 draft was the 34th draft in the history of the Saints, and the first under former head coach Jim Haslett.
The Saints did not have a first round pick in 2000, due to the Ricky Williams trade in 1999, so their first pick was a second round selection.
The pick: Darren Howard, a defensive end from Kansas St..
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Howard, who was the 33rd-overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, played six years for the Saints, from 2000-2005.
The pick turned out to be a good one for the Saints, as Howard was a solid contributor for 6 seasons.
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Howard was an immediate starter, playing and starting in all 16 games in his rookie season, while totaling 37 tackles, including an impressive 11 sacks, which turned out to be tied for his career-high, while helping the Saints to a playoff appearance, and their first-ever playoff win in franchise history.
Howard continued to be a force at both left and right defensive end, averaging over 30 tackles and 6 sacks over the next five seasons.
Following the 2005 season, Howard left the Saints, signing a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he compiled 22.5 sacks over four years, prior to retiring following the 2009 campaign.
In 6 seasons with the Saints, Howard played in 81 games, including 77 as a starter, accumulating 193 tackles, including 44.5 sacks, to go along with 10 fumbles recoveries and three interceptions.
In 10 total NFL seasons, Howard appeared in 145 games, including 93 as a starter, compiling 262 total tackles, including 67 sacks.
Other draft choices of note by the Saints in 2000 include Arizona St. fullback Terrelle Smith in the second round, USC running back/kick returner Chad Morton in the fifth round, and West Virginia quarterback Marc Bulger and Purdue defensive back Michael Hawthorne in the sixth round.